A reader has taken me to task for riffing without attribution on Claire Wolfe's "America is at that awkward stage..." in which she suggests it's too late to vote and too early to "shoot the bastards."
It's famous. It's not some obscure quote from a Christopher Marlowe play. The thing points to itself.
I seem to recall Claire herself expressing misgivings at the way some readers had taken it, behaving as if they were waiting for her to give 'em word to go--
--Which was not, AFAIK, her point. Look, if ever there's a nice time to "shoot the bastards," it'll be obvious; but there is, in fact, a long frog-boiling time between, "things are a bit awry" and "OMG OMG!" And that's where we are, by Claire's quote or my smart-alec rephrasing thereof.
As for me, I strongly suspect that the number of occasions upon which the political situation could be improved by "shooting the bastards" are few and far between, especially compared to ones in which such actions make matters enormously worse -- WW I, anyone?
I don't have much faith in "Great Leaders" of any stripe; I view an FDR or a Churchill with only slightly less suspicion than I do a Hitler or a Stalin -- I do, however, have a bit more faith in the independent-minded yeomanry behind the first two and the orderly transfer of power that replaced those leaders in turn.
On the liberty-minded side of things, if you've got some Leader, Great or small, to revere and follow, perhaps you'd better rethink. If you want revolution, revolt yourself first.
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4 months ago